MEMBERS of the infamous National Youth Service (NYS) have defended their involvement in Zanu PF politics, saying their recent move to thwart demonstrations by party activists in Mutare and Chipinge last week was justified.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
The NYS members were roped in after disgruntled ruling party activists stormed Zanu PF offices in Mutare and Chipinge, pushing for the ouster of provincial chairperson Mike Madiro and his deputy, Dorothy Mabika for allegedly fanning divisions.
The pair also stands accused of contributing to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s poor showing against opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa in the province in the July 30 poll.
NYS Manicaland chapter deputy commando Terrence Mukodza told NewsDay yesterday that they were ready to quash rebellion in the province.
“We are here to defend the revolutionary party and not individuals. We are here to defend the legacy of the party,” he said.
“As members of the national youth service, we are happy with the leadership that we were given by our President Emmerson Mnangagwa in our province, including our party structures,” he said.
“We were told that there were people who wanted to demonstrate at the party office in Mutare last week. We were waiting for them (protesters), we camped at the Manicaland Zanu PF headquarters, waiting for the protesters,” Mukodza added.
Last week, party activists petitioned Zanu PF national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri, political commissar Engelbert Rugeje and secretary for legal affairs Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, seeking the ouster of Madiro and Mabika.
NYS graduates have previously been used as Zanu PF paratroopers alongside war veterans and State security agents to intimidate and beat up opposition supporters, especially during elections.